BAMS Fest highlights local and national artists, showcasing Boston’s rich cultural heritage

The Boston Arts and Music Soul Fest, also known as BAMS Fest, takes over Franklin Park’s Playstead Field June 29 and 30. The festival will center jazz, rhythm and blues, and hip-hop artists from Boston and New England alongside both national and international acts.

“There’s so many different cultures and so much richness of history, and food, and music, and language,” said Catherine T. Morris, director of arts and culture for The Boston Foundation and founder of BAMS Fest. “There’s so many folks coming here learning, wanting to stay here and to have this platform be available. It’s important to make sure their voices and their music is represented.”

Singer, songwriter and Boston-native Lisa Bello will be featured in this year’s BAMS Fest.

“I think we’ve strived to be at this level, and Boston, it hasn’t figured it out. Catherine and BAMS Fest has,” Bello said. “So I think they give us the platform … You know, we’re reaching more people in something we might not have had in our lifetime or been able to achieve, so we’re very appreciative of that.”

Morris said BAMS Fest is both a music festival and a cultural movement.

“We are building a blueprint,” Morris said. “We are building an infrastructure to ensure that the ecosystem of Black arts and culture is sustained, but also that it’s intersectional across every industry that has ignored us.”

Morris hopes that BAMS Fest will help improve the music landscape for a diverse array of artists. “We call out injustices, and we work with those institutions and organizations to just do better,” she said.


Catherine T. Morris, director of arts and culture for The Boston Foundation and founder of the Boston Arts and Music Soul Festival (BAMS Fest).

Lisa Bello, singer, songwriter and featured artist in this year’s BAMS Fest.

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